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The place is very scenic but many problems there.
You arrive at the beach house reception area with no obvious way to contact staff. I saw a male who... read more looked like he might be staff on the phone and guessed he might be contacting someone, but he disappeared without informing me of anything. But staff did appear soon. Staff rushed through taking me to my tent so I had to wander around later to get my bearings.
Meals were varied, fish and a salad were very good. But veggies were usually cold or lukewarm. Didn't like the appetizers and one night it was popcorn. Proportions were small. Drinks were expensive, $9 for a small glass of wine, $7 for a beer. Lunch was served 45 minutes late one day. Hopefully staff washed their hands before handling food with their bare hands, not a glove in sight.
I expected shared bathrooms to be cleaned and checked regularly. There was no toilet paper one night. And the toilet was plugged up and about to be overflowing and stank for an entire day.
Mattress was very hard.
Trails were poorly marked.
Most of the staff were aloof and unfriendly.
Me and my husband Patrick came to Osa and stayed at Finca Exotica while on our honeymoon. It was absolutely amazing. The cabins are located in stunning tropical garden among... read more jungle hills and the paradise beach.... you will hear howler monkeys, see a lot of wildlife on your door steps. The staff is friendly and helpful, our host was Jody. She was very kind and attentive. The chef made delicious dishes and put a lot of thought into it everyday. We will never forget it.
This place is truly heaven on earth. I was worried a bit about what ecolodge would mean. Outhouses? Limited electricity? My sister and I stayed in... read more a beach view cabin. We had a flushing toilet and comfy bed. Minimal bugs and no wildlife bothered us at night. We had lights, an electrical plug and felt deliciously safe! As of the cold shower or more like cool shower? Tthe weather is so hot you wont miss hot water and you will never have a view like that one!!! The food was spectacular and so healthy and fresh ( for example, the chef made coconut milk from a coconut to make one of his incredible soups) The staff is kind, helpful and make you feel you are their first guests ever! I highly recommend you he Thai massage as well! The beach is very wavy but they lost best swim times. The plus side of that? No crowds! If you want to experience the real Costa Rica this place is for you.
Our family spent six magical days at Finca Exotica in mid-Dec 2022 (2 adults and kids ages 6, 12 & 14). We had a chance to disconnect from technology and... read more slow down. We read and played games, hiked in the jungle and splashed in the ocean, observed the incredible flora and fauna. It took our family a day or two to get used to living in an open air cabin, but the payoff in connecting with nature and truly feeling the world around us was priceless. It was a once-in-a lifetime experience that I hope my children hold with them for many years.
We stayed in the Rancho cabin (luxury suite), the largest cabin on Gaby and Marcus' property. It was at the top of the trail (7 minutes walk from the receptions, and about 4 from Casa Grande, the dining and common area), and was completely private, backed by lush tropical vegetation with ocean views. What makes the Rancho cabin extra special was the fact that we were looking out into, and above, the forest canopy (due to the steep slopes and location of the cabin). That meant the toucans, monkeys and scarlet macaws were at eye level.
The open air cabin was beyond breathtaking! Everything was beautiful wood, sleek and elegant, yet warm (somehow the photos on the website don't do it justice). The main floor was split between a large chill-out area (hammock surrounded by cushioned seating with views of the jungle and ocean) and a half-level up, a dining area with a small kitchen (sink, two burner stove, cupboards with basic dishes and pots).
Upstairs we had 4 beds (3 singles and what seemed like a king and was extremely comfortable) with mosquito nets. There were also two desks, one of which was very long and functioned as a window sill. Sitting there, you look over the jungle at the ocean! (I can imagine getting seriously inspired here if I was on a writing retreat!)
A few steps from the cabin was the bathroom: an open air shower (no hot water) and an airy, covered room with flush toilet and sink. The real treat was the little pool. My little one and I would fill it in the morning and let it warm up through the day for a sunset bath before dinner.
Spread out across a large piece of jungle, the eco-lodge is home to all kinds of wildlife. We saw 4 kinds of monkeys (all the kinds you can find in Costa Rica), coatis, loads of birds, reptiles, and insects... Scarlet macaws were cracking nuts above our heads, howler monkeys were hanging out in the trees, a pack of adorable squirrel monkey's swung by to see if they could find some fruit. We saw a turtle laying her eggs on the beach. It is truly amazing.
There are hikes and beach walks to do, and of course the property is very close to the entrance to Corcovado National park (other reviewers have gone into detail about park access).
As others have mentioned, the meals were served in the Casa Grande, another incredible space with soft lighting in the evening and lots of cozy areas for reading, chatting with other travelers or playing the games Gaby and Marcus have available. They also have many books on various topics (local ecology, flora and fauna, permaculture, meditation & mindfulness, to name a few). (Side note - Andy, the driver who brought us to and from Puerto Jimenez, told us that the beautiful large dining table in Casa Grande was made by Marcus from wood salvaged from a shipwreck.)
The vibe is very chill, as other reviewers have mentioned. This is aided by the fact that there is only wifi in the reception building (at the bottom of the property, 3-4 minutes downhill from Casa Grande and about 7 minutes from the Rancho cabin). So when you are sitting in the Casa Grande, no one is staring at a screen- a rarity these days. Instead, people are talking, reading, enjoying nature, or playing games. The people we met were all very interesting and full of incredible stories. Finca Exotica definitely attracts an adventurous crowd!
Breakfast was served from 7 (until 9ish?), lunch between noon and 2ish, a snack at 6, and dinner at 7. The food was spectacular. It was healthy and delicious, with a focus on local produce, and beautifully plated. Chef's Kevin and Coco, were very talented! It was absolutely gourmet. I think my favourite was the seared tuna steak, but everything was fantastice! Portions were not huge, but they were totally sufficient for me. There was always a pot of coffee available, and various fruit juices, smoothies or chocolate milk in the mornings.
For the kids: For my oldest, an adventurous eater, the food was perfect. Marcus would come around after the meal and ask if he'd had enough (he's a growing 14 year old), and he'd often ask for a bit more. For my pickier youngest, the food was more challenging. After a few meals, we asked for her food to be plated more simply (so she could pick the things she liked without "offensive" items mixed in). Next time we go (now that I know the cabin has a stove), I'll bring some dry goods to supplement the kids on days they aren't fond of what is served. There is no fridge, so I'll probably stick to things like packaged ramen, dry camping food, granola bars, etc.
I could go on and on about how amazing this eco-lodge is and how many incredible experiences we had, but this review is already too long!
Be sure to thoroughly read their website to understand what you are signing up for, especially the "Is Finca Exotica for You" page.
We were concerned before we went about mosquitoes (our kids have bad reactions to some insect bites), but the mosquitos were not bad at all (though I understand this can be seasonal, we arrived right after the rainy season).
Owners Gaby and Marcus are lovely, as was everyone else we met there. They are NOT concierges - don't expect to be able to call on them day and night to make requests. They are around to help and you are cared for, but they don't hold your hand the whole time! There are no street lights (you'll need to bring flashlights), and guests are generally responsible for their own safety (there is no lifeguard at the beach, but they tell you which times are safest for swimming).
This is not a packaged holiday experience; it is a genuine adventure. If this idea appeals to you, you will not be disappointed by Finca Exotica!
Wow. We absolutely loved this lodge.
First – practicalities.
To get to FE there are 2 options: One, a very rough road from Puerto Jimenez for 2... read more hours that changes according to the weather. You can do this by your own 4WD (you have to cross a couple of rivers and go up some challenging hills, so it is not for the fainthearted) or get a taxi (Andy, based in Puerto Jimenez, the FE people have his details).
The second option is to fly in. The little airstrip called Carate is literally 2 minutes from Finca Exotica and you can get a Cessna or something similar from other places in Costa Rica. There are no scheduled flights so you have to charter a plane.
We experienced both of these routes (we visited twice).
(1) First time, we rented a car and drove in on the road from Puerto Jimenez. The rivers were quite low but the hills and mud were difficult. It was easier going out, as you know the road a bit. Before we travelled, we had looked at a video someone had posted on YouTube, Puerto Jimenez to Carate, and it does give you some sense of what to expect.
(2) The second time we went there – we were not expecting to go back but we had checked into a very nice 5* hotel on the coast near Uvita but we felt we had left behind some sense of uniqueness and tranquillity that you just couldn’t get in the more touristy areas. We realised that to make the most of our holiday, Finca Exotica was the most relaxing place for us to be, so we changed our travel plans. We decided to book a flight from Palmar Sur to Carate (20 minute flight) through Adventure Air. We left our rental car in a small b&b near the airport and picked it up a few days later when we returned. Palmar Sur is quite close to Carate (as the crow flies!) so flying is not too bad on cost.
(Note: In principle you can charter a flight from most places in Costa Rica to Carate. Obviously this is not the cheapest thing to do so it’s not an option for everyone. Do consider the cost and time of a rental car vs. a taxi, vs. a scenic flight (the flight was quite stunning)).
(3) There is a third option that we didn’t do – a Colectivo (public bus) from Puerto Jimenez up to Carate. There are set times for this and obviously much, much cheaper than the above options. We met people who had done it so it seems it’s fine – we just didn’t know about this before we travelled.
Second - the Lodge
Once you are at Finca Exotica, this is chillout central. I have not been so relaxed in years. You walk more slowly, you interact in an appreciative way. You start to think differently. I realise it says all this on the website, but do believe it. When you are there it feels like you are with likeminded people (the owners and the guests) who have deliberately chosen to be in a very remote, tranquil space, connected with the environment and with themselves and each other.
Cabins are secluded in amongst the extensive gardens. Some of them are up a hill (ours – Ranchito – wasn’t, and was super comfortable and cute for 2 people) so if you have a problem with ups and downs, tell them. The cabins are completely open to the air and animals around and about, and this really enhances the experience. There are outside cold water showers but don’t worry, I hate the cold and these were absolutely fine!
There is a yoga deck up high with amazing views, and daily yoga; the grounds are extensive, beautifully kept and there are incredible viewing places for birds, monkeys, iguanas, coatis.
You eat breakfast, lunch and dinner at an impressive wooden structure that they call Casa Grande – up on the hill, some steps from our little cabin (and down from others). It has a big deck with chairs, a bar, open kitchen, great ambience and viewing place for scarlet macaws, toucans, monkeys, bats, etc. Over dinner you meet other travellers on a communal table, which is lovely. The people we met at Finca Exotica were very respectful of the environment and the ethos and the tranquility and you felt like you wanted to talk and exchange stories.
The food is amazing (thanks chef Kevin). Local produce (they grow quite a bit of it), all fresh and healthy. Great vegetables (some we had never heard of!), lovely fruits, homemade bread and eggs for breakfast They serve fresh fish but we are vegetarians and their vegetarian and vegan food is varied and always tasty (we struggled in other parts of Costa). Just tell them that’s what you want. Even their packed lunches (when you are on a hike) are delicious.
You can hike locally without a guide but if you want to go into the national park you need a guide and FE can arrange this. We went on the 22km hike into Sirena Station (Corcovado NP) from FE and got the boat back the following day to Puerto Jimenez. We also did a day hike (there and back) into Corcovado NP from there and saw lots of animals.
The beach – 1 minute walk from FE – is stunning. As far as your eye can see either way, deserted. If you want to walk or run it, it is incredible. FE has put up some hammocks in the shady palms on the beach. Beware – the sea is rough so only expect to go in for a few hours around low tide.
Gaby and Marcus (and Maya the dog) were amazing hosts. They could not do enough for us, listening to our worries and suggesting alternatives. They had expert knowledge about local hikes, guides, animals and transport. They were interested in our stories and shared theirs. I could not ask for anything more welcoming. Gaby is so attentive and warm.
Laura arranges tours and also works at the lodge and is very flexible with what you need. She’s also really friendly, welcoming and helpful. Maurizio is the yoga teacher and he managed to accommodate two of us – one a complete novice and the other quite experienced – and make our sessions into something really positive and fulfilling for both of us.
I realise this is a long post but I hope I have conveyed some of its ambience. I cannot recommend Finca Exotica enough. We are already looking to go back.
What a place. Imagine waking up in the morning to the sound of the waves of the pacific accompanied by howler monkeys, tucans, macaws and many other birds singing as... read more the sun rises over the forest. While you shower outdoor a coati passes you without even giving you a glance. Then you walk down the hill to the restaurant and are met by the most friendly and easy staff that have prepared a delicious breakfast.
Then imagine that you return to the restaurant at 6pm for a drink watching the sun sets and exchanges the days experiences with the other guests and the staff before enjoying a gourmet dinner prepared with many locally grown ingredients.
This is how your day is framed. What you do in between is up to you. Visit Corcovado on a guided tour is a must, enjoying the beach, talk a walk in the jungle at the Finca on your own or just lay in the hammock with a book.
It takes a 4x4 to reach the resort, but it's emphasizes the feeling of remoteness.
The only drawback is that you at some point have to leave. You just feel like you wants to return to the place and those people again. More
They feed you well, and everything is kept very tidy despite being 100% outdoors. It’s an adventure just to arrive there, but someone is always ready to greet you upon... read more your arrival. It’s basically in Corcovado, so can see just about any wildlife you’d see in the park, including 4 types of monkey, tapirs, all manner of lizard and spider. They have regular retreats, so check the website to see if there’s one you can join during your stay. Honestly, the food is to die for, which is incredible given the remote location (90 minutes into the jungle in a 4wd vehicle), and although you aren’t given menu options, they accommodate dietary restrictions and needs. It’s an incredible deal because you basically get gourmet meals included in the cost of your stay (if you choose that option at booking). Highly recommend the add-on hike with the tour guide on staff! She knows how to find all sorts of hidden critters you wouldn’t otherwise be able to spot, and is truly an expert at photographing them through the telescope. You can’t enter Corcovado alone anyways, but honestly if you were able to you’d have no idea how to spot everything a trained guide does! They have to receive a lot of education just to be a guide, so again- totally worth it! Also recommend the Thai massage if it’s offered when you’re there You can enjoy the beach every day, and... They feed you well, and everything is kept very tidy despite being 100% outdoors. It’s an adventure just to arrive there, but someone is always ready to greet you upon your arrival. It’s basically in Corcovado, so can see just about any wildlife you’d see in the park, including 4 types of monkey, tapirs, all manner of lizard and spider. They have regular retreats, so check the website to see if there’s one you can join during your stay.
Honestly, the food is to die for, which is incredible given the remote location (90 minutes into the jungle in a 4wd vehicle), and although you aren’t given menu options, they accommodate dietary restrictions and needs. It’s an incredible deal because you basically get gourmet meals included in the cost of your stay (if you choose that option at booking).
Highly recommend the add-on hike with the tour guide on staff! She knows how to find all sorts of hidden critters you wouldn’t otherwise be able to spot, and is truly an expert at photographing them through the telescope. You can’t enter Corcovado alone anyways, but honestly if you were able to you’d have no idea how to spot everything a trained guide does! They have to receive a lot of education just to be a guide, so again- totally worth it!
Also recommend the Thai massage if it’s offered when you’re there
You can enjoy the beach every day, and the staff will always let you know times of high & low tide - the current is strong at this beach so you can’t just take a dip any time.
I’ve been twice now- during the dry season in January, and then during July when it rains. I personally liked it more in July because I enjoy a good rainstorm, and there wasn’t a ton of dust on the ride to & from Puerto Jiminez because the road wasn’t dry.
The place is magical and 100% worth every minute of the adventure to arrive there; with 3% of the world’s biodiversity contained in Corcovado, it is truly a bucket list experience. Just sit in the quiet and observe the jungle; enjoy the refreshing ocean breeze and tropical weather, and let nature encompass you and heal you- body, mind, and spirit.
Also, prepare to meet really cool, interesting people from all over the world when you stay here! This place attracts the best folks. More
My husband and I spend 4 days at Finca Exotica and we’re blown away! The lodging is exceptional! The huts are perfectly designed with high quality wood and bamboo, the... read more beds are very comfortable, and the outdoor shower was so fun to use! The views are spectacular! You can see the love the owners put into each and every hut, specifically designed to give the visitor the best view of Corcovado! The beach is a short 5 minute walk from the Finca Exotica Clubhouse, the Finca Exotica beach location has hammocks and benches, perfect for sitting out to enjoy the beach! The clubhouse is equipped with many hammocks, books, and a pool table! The Casa Grande restaurant at Finca Exotica is incredible, spectacular design with incredible views of the rainforest and beach. The Finca Exotica layout was great—they have incredible gardens and we saw many beautiful animals as we walked around the Finca. We saw monkeys, macaws, lots of lizards, special birds, and frogs—they love Finca Exotica! The Casa Grande restaurant features beautiful furniture, designed by the Owner—it has many beautiful sitting areas with a beautiful bar and large tables for big parties. The restaurant also has many fun instruments for guests to play, including a guitar and a wooden marimba from Costa Rica! The food at the Casa Grande restaurant cannot be beat!! Finca Exotica focuses on providing healthy and delicious meals that feature produce grown at Finca. We... My husband and I spend 4 days at Finca Exotica and we’re blown away! The lodging is exceptional! The huts are perfectly designed with high quality wood and bamboo, the beds are very comfortable, and the outdoor shower was so fun to use! The views are spectacular! You can see the love the owners put into each and every hut, specifically designed to give the visitor the best view of Corcovado! The beach is a short 5 minute walk from the Finca Exotica Clubhouse, the Finca Exotica beach location has hammocks and benches, perfect for sitting out to enjoy the beach! The clubhouse is equipped with many hammocks, books, and a pool table! The Casa Grande restaurant at Finca Exotica is incredible, spectacular design with incredible views of the rainforest and beach. The Finca Exotica layout was great—they have incredible gardens and we saw many beautiful animals as we walked around the Finca. We saw monkeys, macaws, lots of lizards, special birds, and frogs—they love Finca Exotica! The Casa Grande restaurant features beautiful furniture, designed by the Owner—it has many beautiful sitting areas with a beautiful bar and large tables for big parties. The restaurant also has many fun instruments for guests to play, including a guitar and a wooden marimba from Costa Rica! The food at the Casa Grande restaurant cannot be beat!! Finca Exotica focuses on providing healthy and delicious meals that feature produce grown at Finca. We had breakfast, lunch, and dinner at the restaurant and were thrilled with the level of care taken to prepare every meal, and the delicious and creative dishes that we enjoyed! The food at the Casa Grande restaurant is delicious—the flavors are excellent and the food is perfectly cooked! Hands down the best food we have had in all of Costa Rica, and we have had some great food! Finca Exotica also provides some unique tour offerings, Laura and Gaby set up a wonderful tour of the Corcovado Reserve, Laura was our tour guide and did an excellent job of showing us the beautiful flora and fauna or Corcovado! We loved every minute of our stay at Finca Exotica and highly recommend it to anyone who is looking for adventure and great food, in the heart of the Corcovado wilderness! More
Special place in the jungle!
You really feel in a movie...
The hosts are so nice. We got a room with amazing sea view. You see monekys and birds all... read more around.
Local food was excellent, also the guided tour and massage.
You feel in a retreat!
Make sure to book a room with full food package, worth it! Bring books with you and enjoy the jungle and the beach.